NATO experts have arrived in Turkey to scout the area for Patriot missile-battery sites along the Syrian-Turkish border.
The group consisting of U.S., Dutch and German officers, which represent the three countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization who have Patriot surface-to-air missiles, will survey the border for deployment of the missiles due to be set up by mid-December.
Turkey’s military insists the deployment of the Patriot missiles is a defensive measure that will not be used to create a “no-fly zone” or launch any attacks.
Meanwhile, Iran, Russia and Syria have spoken out against the move, saying such a deployment will deepen the tensions in the region.
Turkey has dismissed the concerns, saying the Patriot missiles are only for defence purposes.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has expressed grave concerning regarding the “overt militarization of the Turkish-Syrian border.”
Syrian President Beshar Assad and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly vacationed together before the start of the conflicts in Syria 20 months ago, but the relationship between the two countries has turned very sour since Turkey sided with the Syrian opposition forces and allowed rebels to use Turkish bases.